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 so now that my meggy jr is all ready to roll
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By: bomberpunk (offline) on Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 03:55 AM PDT (Read 11660 times)  
bomberpunk

i had a lot of problems since day one, with putting one together and getting it to sync up with my computer. however, i've overcome all those obstacles and learned a LOT (and got a lot of great help from Windell & Lenore). i had never even soldered before other than fixing guitar wires/cables back in my teens.

i've begun learning the basics via the 'MJSL' with at least 4 game ideas in mind. however, i kind of want to put that programming on hold because i have an itch to purchase another unit to convert into a tabletop machine. basically the PCB board would be wedged in-between two pieces of wood painted black, with only the screen and speaker sticking out. the six buttons and the reset button would be wired down to an external controller setup that sits at a slight angle directly in front of the seated (or standing) user. this particular unit would be powered via A/C adapter only, no battery pack.

the biggest problems here would be installing an external power switch somewhere, as well as giving access to the programming port. if i was really skilled, i would probably wire up an extension cord with the 6-pin connector at the base of the wooden unit, preferably on one of the sides towards the back. same for the A/C wire.

the horrible ASCII sketches i made didn't post correctly, so i'll leave what it looks like to your imagination. but here's the controller setup:
4-way joystick, power switch, reset mini button, B button, A button.
(these would be arcade game parts)

i'm pretty sure this is easily doable... ...right?
someone please talk me out of this so i can go back to studying how to program the Meggy Big Grin


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By: Windell (offline) on Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 07:04 AM PDT  
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basically the PCB board would be wedged in-between two pieces of wood painted black, with only the screen and speaker sticking out. the six buttons and the reset button would be wired down to an external controller setup that sits at a slight angle directly in front of the seated (or standing) user. this particular unit would be powered via A/C adapter only, no battery pack.

Sounds easy enough. Big Grin

the biggest problems here would be installing an external power switch somewhere, as well as giving access to the programming port.

If you use the external AC adapter, you need to hook up the two-pin jumper on the Meggy Jr RGB PCB in the correct location for that. If you want to put a power switch there, then instead of adding a direct jumper across those two points, put two wires that go to a switch. I'm sure that you can find some way to give access to the programming port(s)-- you can hook up an extension cable to one of them, too.


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By: bomberpunk (offline) on Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 03:12 AM PDT  
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does the type/gauge of the wire matter?

also, does the store sell a double-ended (TTL to TTL) "extension cord" for the programming port?
otherwise i'll just buy two MPC-2s (on ebay for $1.50 each) and fuse them together to get the same effect.

i'm not entirely sure i can pull this off, but i won't know until i actually purchase a second meggy jr kit (i get paid in a week).

i'm also wondering if i can do some kind of customized kit, since i don't need a handle set or a battery pack or any button assembly. maybe i could get the US A/C adapter to replace all those parts. doesn't hurt to ask Big Grin


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By: bomberpunk (offline) on Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 08:14 AM PDT  
bomberpunk

does the store sell a double-ended (TTL to TTL) "extension cord" for the programming port?


scratch that idea. female to female isn't going to work. but i see this in the online store: http://evilmadscience.com/partsmenu/182-sockets
is this the correct part i need? the comport on the Meggy has long L-shaped pins., so...


i'm also wondering if i can do some kind of customized kit, since i don't need a handle set or a battery pack or any button assembly. maybe i could get the US A/C adapter to replace all those parts. doesn't hurt to ask Big Grin


the battery pack is starting to sound like a better idea for a tabletop machine. what to do what to do..


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By: Lenore (offline) on Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 02:32 PM PDT  
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Contact us through the store (http://evilmadscience.com/contact) regarding getting a Meggy Jr kit without handles--we can work with you there. Since you'd be working with a new kit, you could just hand wire an extension to the programming header so that it will reach the edge of your box. Otherwise, yes, you could use a 6-pin female header to connect to the Meggy, and wire it up to a 6-pin male header on the edge of your box to connect your programming cable to.


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By: bomberpunk (offline) on Friday, October 15 2010 @ 12:48 PM PDT  
bomberpunk

thanks for the response, Lenore. i never thought about doing that with the comport.

i will contact the store soon, as soon as i know exactly what i'll be doing, plus i still have to wait for payday Rolling Eyes i did find the "sub-standard" meggy kit for $65 on accident, so that's probably what i'll be going with.

now here are some questions i have about the control panel wiring. i did research online but couldn't really find these answers:
(1) i noticed that arcade buttons need a ground wire... do i still need a ground for something running off of two AA batteries?
(2) if not, does that mean each connection only needs one wire going from the original PCB to the external control panel?
(3) will the buttons draw too much power if any?
(4) what about fancy lighted LED buttons. are those out of the question?


thanks for all your help!


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By: Windell (offline) on Saturday, October 16 2010 @ 12:39 PM PDT  
Windell

>(1) i noticed that arcade buttons need a ground wire... do i still need a ground for something running off of two AA batteries?

All buttons need (at least) two wires. The buttons on the Meggy work by connecting one of the inputs to ground; the arcarde buttons work the same way. In this case, of course, "ground" just means to the negative end of the battery pack-- not to earth ground. Also, Meggy Jr RGB is not designed to run on two AA batteries-- it needs 4.5 - 5.5 V DC to operate properly.

>(2) if not, does that mean each connection only needs one wire going from the original PCB to the external control panel?

You need one "ground" wire from the Meggy Jr that goes to each button, plus one additional wire for each button to the right input on the Meggy Jr.

>(3) will the buttons draw too much power if any?

Normal buttons do not draw a significant amount of current.

>(4) what about fancy lighted LED buttons. are those out of the question?

Not out of the question, but you'll have to separately provide a power supply to drive the LEDs in them.



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By: bomberpunk (offline) on Monday, October 18 2010 @ 09:14 PM PDT  
bomberpunk

an update..

i meant to say 3xAAA, not 2xAA. anyhoo, that's exactly what i needed to know about the button wiring, so thanks!

i've decided to stick with normal arcade buttons instead of LED ones. i'm also gonna add a sound/mute toggle switch somewhere, probably on the control panel. my MPC2 wires came in the mail and i've already converted one into an interfacing link (so easy you could barely call it a mod), the other two are going to be for the comport "extension cord" so it can reach the base of the wooded shell i've yet to build (or design, for that matter).

and finally, i've loaded MeggyBrite into Arduino v21 and starting adding/deleting things. it's slowly becoming a platform arcade game demake. ...but i'm sure my "MeggyCade" will be completed first.

i am excited about all of this. i'm desperately waiting for payday. need to order my buttons, joystick, meggy jr, and a parts holder. four more days!!


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By: bomberpunk (offline) on Friday, October 29 2010 @ 01:51 PM PDT  
bomberpunk

another update!

i bought all my material for the wooden cabinet yesterday at lowe's and spent a good few hours last night and all day today cutting and designing on the fly.

as of right now, the back, bottom, and sides are connected to each other via angled brackets & screws, and i've carved out semi-circles on both sides to (a) make it look more like an arcade machine and (b) to give more space for a pair of hands.

my meggy kit isn't here yet, but since my arcade parts did come in, i think the control panel is next on the to-do list. it's going to be 9 inches long and probably 5 inches deep. there will be a joystick, two buttons, a mini reset button, and a sound/mute toggle.

i obviously can't wire anything yet, but i can have it ready for (hopefully) tomorrow afternoon.

can i get any specifics on exactly how to wire the control panel to the meggy PCB? what is "COMMON" and "NORMALLY OPEN' going to connect to for each of the buttons / 4 directions of the stick? could i get a quick diagram? that would be most helpful! thanks!

cheers,
Mike


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By: Windell (offline) on Friday, October 29 2010 @ 02:07 PM PDT  
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can i get any specifics on exactly how to wire the control panel to the meggy PCB? what is "COMMON" and "NORMALLY OPEN' going to connect to for each of the buttons / 4 directions of the stick? could i get a quick diagram? that would be most helpful! thanks!



The diagram that you may be looking for is the Meggy Jr RGB schematic, of course. Wink

Wire up each button so that when you press it, it connects the relevant pin from the PCB to ground. I'd suggest not wiring up the buttons directly to the button locations on the PCB, but rather to use locations PC0-PC5 instead; it will be a bit neater.

You can run one ground wire from each button to the PCB, or one common wire to all the buttons, with just a single wire to ground on the PCB. You can tap ground from any of the button locations or (for example) Pin 6 of J1. See the schematic for additional locations.


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By: bomberpunk (offline) on Thursday, November 04 2010 @ 12:04 PM PDT  
bomberpunk

control panel is nearly assembled. i'm expecting the meggy kit to come in either today or tomorrow. if i don't screw anything up, this project should be complete by this time next week.

as for the reset button, can i use the same ground as PC0-PC5? and can i wire the other wire directly to pin 1 of the ATmega chip?

thanks!


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By: bomberpunk (offline) on Thursday, November 04 2010 @ 11:48 PM PDT  
bomberpunk

hooray for double posts!!

the meggy kit came in today, but i had to stop halfway through because (i'm assuming) the humidity in the air is making soldering impossible. i'll try again tomorrow afternoon when the sun is beating down on the garage again and the air isn't so nasty. or i could bring it inside and get high.

if i studied the schematic correctly (i had to look up how to read one), the Reset button has its own ground at hole #3. the active wire should go to hole #1


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By: Windell (offline) on Friday, November 05 2010 @ 12:18 AM PDT  
Windell

as for the reset button, can i use the same ground as PC0-PC5? and can i wire the other wire directly to pin 1 of the ATmega chip?



Yes, or use the pin of the reset button that connects to pin 1 of the chip. If you have a multimeter, that's often the best way to follow the wiring on the circuit board.


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By: bomberpunk (offline) on Monday, November 08 2010 @ 12:30 PM PST  
bomberpunk

done soldering, 3 columns don't light. i noticed that the text on the side of the LED grid is not facing towards the buzzer but towards the A/B buttons...

exactly HOW crucial is that part of construction?

i can't believe i messed up something so trivial.


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By: Windell (offline) on Monday, November 08 2010 @ 12:42 PM PST  
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I'd certainly suggest turning the matrix around so that it faces the right way. IIRC, the matrix will still work, but that the 24 R/G/B columns are scrambled. It could probably be fixed with a patch to the library (and you're welcome to do so if you like) but if you've got the matrix socketed, I'd suggest pulling it out and turning it around.


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